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Can a booster shot protect you against Omicron?

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The White house has confirmed the nation has officially recorded its first case of Omicron Covid-19

The individual was a traveler who returned from South Africa on November 22 and tested positive on November 29. 

They have been self-quarantining and all close contacts have been contacted and all have tested negative so far.

The US now joins a growing list of other countries that have confirmed cases of the variant, including Saudi Arabia and Nigeria.

Is a booster shot the answer?

This all comes as Israel’s health minister says there are “indications” that a booster shot may provide protection against Omicron.

Vaccine developers will have more information about whether their current shots are effective within the next fourteen days.

The World Health Organisation also expects to have further information regarding the transmissibility of the new variant and says the world could have answers within days, not weeks.

Fauci’s message

US infectious diseases expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci has also just addressed the nation during a White House press briefing.

Fauci says the discovery of the Omicron variant within America is just “another example of why it’s important for people to get vaccinated who’ve not been vaccinated… but also boosting.”

Fauci says variants in the past, like Delta, have shown that “even though the vaccine isn’t specifically targeted to such variants… when you get a high enough level of an immune response, you get spillover protection”.

Meanwhile, as nations right around the world move to halt the spread of Omicron, the WHO’s Director-General has hit out at recently-imposed travel bans.

The Director says “we do not want to see countries penalised for sharing information, because this is how WHO makes assessments and provides advice”.

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Guilty verdict for far-right militia founder in Capitol attack

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A guilty verdict has been reached for the founder of a far-right militia group for his involvement in the Capitol attack

A Federal Jury has found the founder of far-right American group Oath Keepers guilty of seditious conspiracy during the attack on the U.S. Capitol.

In a major victory for the U.S. Justice Department, Stewart Rhodes, alongside two members of his militia group are the first to face rare charges in connection with the January 6 violence.

The Government insists the group took part in stopping the transfer of power following Trump’s defeat.

Seditious conspiracy refers to two or more people conspiring to “overthrow, put down, or to destroy by force” the U.S. government.

Rhodes lawyers are planning to appeal the conviction but the charges carry a potential jail time of up to 20 years.

The Oath Keepers claim to defend the Constitution of the United States.

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Landmark same-sex marriage protection bill

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In a landmark bipartisan vote, the U-S Senate has passed Federal legislation to protect same sex marriage & Interracial marriage

Dubbed the Respect for Marriage Act, the same-sex bill will now be approved by the House as soon as this week.

After approval from the House the legislation will head to President Biden’s desk to be signed into law.

The bill is in response to concerns the Supreme Court could overturn the 2015 decision to legalise same-sex marriage nationwide.

“Today the long but inexorable march towards greater equality advances forward…

By passing this bill, the Senate is sending a message that every American needs to hear: no matter who you are or who you love, you too deserve dignity and equal treatment under the law.”

Chuck Schumer, Senate Majority Leader
 

The bill needed 60 votes to pass and ended with a vote of 61 to 36.

Hundreds of thousands of same-sex and interracial couples are breathing a sigh of relief today in the United States.

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Scott Morrison censured by the House of Representatives

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Scott Morrison becomes the first current or former prime minister to be censured

The Australian Government has censured former prime minister Scott Morrison over a string of secret ministries he swore himself into.

The motion notes Morrison undermined responsible government after he failed to inform parliament of these secret portfolios he took on.

Of course, this follows the release of a report by former High Court Judge Virginia Bell.

She found it was “unnecessary” for Morrison to appoint himself as the minister for finance and health.

The coalition did not support the motion.

Of course, Morrison remains in the parliament as the member for Cook.

We’ve also heard from current Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, who says the opposition just doesn’t get it.

“He owes an apology to the Australian people for the undermining of democracy, and that’s why this motion should be supported by every member of this House.”

Liberal MP Bridget Archer says she was obligated to support Labor’s censure.

“I am a Liberal. I believe in Liberal values. And our statement of values says this,” Archer said.

“‘We believe in the rule of law. Under it, there is freedom for the nation and for all men and women. Democracy depends upon self-discipline, obedience to the law and the honest administration of the law.

It’s not the first time Bridget Archer has done this.

Last year, she crossed the floor over the proposed anti-corruption commission.

The last time an MP was formally censured in federal parliament was in 2018.

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